Comprehending numbers and early arithmetics are often made easy with tactile and multisensory practices like employing fingers to count and the use of few manipulatives. As students climb up the grades, word problems of various notions eventually step in to ensure pragmatic instances. Some students may encounter impediments in comprehending and solving these questions on paper and may require engrossing styles of address instead. Are you one of those, looking to learn arithmetics in a more fun way, just like in elementary schooling? Fitting games may be our take-in here.
Word problems too can be learned and worked out with exhilarating pedagogies like games and activities. To assist you with further appealing strategies to practice word problems, here we came up with ten interesting and engaging online games.
Solving word problems with ease
It can be strenuous for a learner to derive an answer for a word problem in a single step and to ensure an appropriate approach, one needs to go through multiple stages/steps. This is probably the essence of word problems. Polya in his book, How to Solve it, has mentioned four steps to facilitate solving word problems.
- “Understand the Problem”: The most common challenge in word problems is the lack of discerning what the question actually asks for. To decipher these lines, one needs to read them carefully. Some prefer to read through these more than once, and it may be acceptable in some cases.
- “Make a Plan”: Once the problem is well versed, it is time the learner needs to check upon which plan of action can hit the answer. They may recall probable strategies and operations to apply and come to a suitable conclusion. Accordingly, one needs to devise an equation to proceed with.
- “Carry out the plan”: Once the plan with an equation is fabricated, the values given in the questions are placed in it to carry out the calculations. The estimation may be of multiple steps, but the answer can be determined.
- “Look Back” : Once an answer is derived, evidently, the student may not be sure whether it is right. For this, they need to put back the answer in the equation to check if it satisfies. Finally, it also needs to be ensured that all the steps of solutions are properly depicted.
Online games for practicing word based math problems
1. Thinking Blocks Multiplication
This game is a noteworthy pick for those looking for multiplication and related word problems. To start with, the player needs to choose one among various types of problems. These include two-step problems, three-step problems, and three quantity problems. Once the type of word problem is determined, the player enters the game. The question is depicted at the top of the screen, and the instructions are provided at the bottom of the screen. The player needs to go through a stepwise procedure to solve. They need to start with a visual demonstration of questions, then name the value given in the query, and then estimate the answer. This game is simple and interactive. Ensuring visual inference, the learner can make out what questions precisely speak about.
2. Jumpy: Multi-Step Word Problems
Once all the operations and their use is discerned, the learners may ensure practice multi-step problems that involve more than one operation to get an answer. This lets players encounter such scenarios. In this recreation, the student needs to help Jumpy, the cat, to jump over all the obstacles to reach the other side of the river. For crossing each obstacle, the player needs to solve a question. This game ensures engagement with a good user interface, this may assist players to retain for longer intervals. Further, a mentor can assign this game to students by just clicking on Assign the Game. Created with multiple levels and questions, this game can be for third, fourth, and fifth graders.
3. Word Problems Related to Division
Practicing division gets further exhilarating with games like this. This facile game asks various questions to the player. The learner needs to estimate and choose the right answer among the four options on the moving birds. In case the answer is right, the player gets a coin. If the player chooses the wrong answer, then the detailed solution and answer are depicted on the screen to learn. This game gets interactive with a voice assistant, sounds, and visuals. Another edge is that there is no time limit. Thereby, new players can take more time to come up with the right answer.
4. 2-Steps Money Problems
Dealing with money is obligatory as an adult. Accordingly, indulging in money-related games can succeed reasonably. This game starts with a price chart of multiple commodities along with pictures. Based on these figures, the game asks for word problems of varying quantities. The player needs to reckon the final value as soon as possible. For instance, if a banana is priced at 10 cents and apples 20 cents, the cost of 2 apples and three bananas would be (70 cents). Apart from ensuring a sequential approach, this game offers the player to play in three currencies to facilitate flexible learning.
5. Subtraction Word problems
Rewarding for each right answer often intrigues the student to solve more problems. This game rewards players by letting them roll a dice for every correct answer. The recreation starts with a subtraction-based word problem and a snake & ladder game, which the player needs to solve. Once the answer is calculated, the learner needs to choose an appropriate option. For every right answer, the player gets a chance to roll a dice and move forward in the game. The game is simple, and thereby can be accessed on all devices without delay.
6. Multiply Fractions
After discerning fractions, the operation of these values becomes necessary. This game provides auxiliary support in such practices. The game comprises a lot of word problems which stipulates the player to use multiplication of fractions to solve. This pick is provided with a voice assistant that can read out the questions clearly for students. Further, it also offers a scratchpad area to work on the screen itself. Answering every 10 right questions will let the player level up. This serene game can be picked for the recurrent practice of fractions and operations.
7. Computation Castle
To students who are looking for visually enriched word problem games, computation castle may be the pick. This game starts with an evil witch cursing five innocent people into animals. The player needs to bring them back to human life. For this, they have to answer a few questions to help mix up the right potion. The game ensures engagement with admirable gameplay. Most of the questions are related to measurements of ingredients, which may further make students indulge in gameplay rather than practicing sums.
8. Math Pirate Game
Multiplication of numbers may be easy, but discerning the postulates from the word problems needs to be developed. This pirate game, accordingly, stipulates the students to understand simple sums to solve them. The game starts with a pirate monkey being stranded on an island and is digging the ground for food. The player needs to give the right answer to the questions to get some coconuts. Every question comes with four options, and a button for voice assistant. These features make the game easy to grip on word-based problems.
9. George’s Expedition
This game revolves around George and the math problems that arise before him in his journey. To start with, the teacher creates a story with ten to fifteen problems in it and narrates it to students. Whenever a word problem comes, the story is paused for a while to let the learners solve it to proceed. Here is an example:
George has 3 members in his family and he has to bring some groceries. He went to the store located at the end of the street. In the dairy section, recall the need for cheese. Each person needs four cubes of cheese. He has to calculate the total cheese cubes (12). This calculation is done by students. Once done, the story continues for the next word problem.
This game creates an imaginary world for students to soak into and apply word problem-solving skills in real-life examples. Based on the grade of the students, the teacher can change the complexity of the word problems.
10. Tippy Tippy Tap, Pick a Math operation to grab
As kids, we all have made toys out of paper, and through origami, we have made a game which we as kids used to call ‘tippy tippy tape.’ You can learn to make one on your own through a tutorial. We used to choose numbers and then we used to get our favorite movie, or whatsoever we used to write in the inner flap.
Ideally, there are 4 colors that we choose from, but now, we can make this an activity of 4 operations, rather than 4 colors. Therefore, on the top flap, we can write – Addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction. Now, we can ask our friends to choose from these 4 operations. Next, in the inner flaps, we can write word problems that would be associated with the operation chosen.
We can make this tippy tippy tap a time-based challenge, by asking for the answer in 30 seconds or lesser. This fun activity will stimulate the creative side of the brain and will help the kids with maths.
Word problems may not be facile for all students, which depicts a need for assisting strategies to grasp. With the shift towards creative and interactive learning styles, games can be an eminent talking point for all the pupils. While online games can be stress-busters after school, offline picks can improve engagement in school. The games edified above cover all basic operations, and the offline ideas can be implemented to any notion by the mentor. Pick a befitting game and let your little one relish the study time.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,